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The Iron Man by Ted Hughes, Illustrated by Laura Carlin


Published by Walker Books in collaboration with Faber & Faber, November 2010

Faber & Faber first published The Iron Man in 1968. Ted Hughes originally wrote the story to comfort his children after Sylvia Plath’s suicide. It’s a much-loved children’s classic, known as a story ‘to be told in five nights’, the prose, lending itself to being read aloud. However, it also provides a narrative that has continued to resonate with adults alike, a criticism of human conflict, suggesting that insular thinking is the motivation for such reaction.

The villagers do not greet the unexpected arrival of the Iron Man warmly. Only the little boy, Hogarth, helps the giant ‘metal man’, leading him to the scrap yard where he can feast on the mountains of old stoves, fridges, trucks and railway engines.

In Laura’s original and personal response to the story, she has purposefully depicted the Iron Man with a shadow, interpreting Hughes’ empathy with the character as a ‘real’ being. In contrast to Laura’s paper-cut-out of the Iron Man, the pencil drawn villagers only receive a shadow at the end of the tale, when more than just the Space-Bat-Angel-Dragon has been overcome.

Interspersed with gate-fold illustrations and dye cut details, Laura Carlin's illustrated version of The Iron Man re-tells this story in a stunningly imaginative and deeply poignant way.

210 × 275 mm Hardback with dust jacket. English language.
Each copy individually signed by Laura Carlin

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